Changes in the heritable attributes of populations of organisms over time. Major mechanisms include drift, natural selection, mutation, and gene flow (migration).

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Why do we assume that the first humans were dark-skinned?

According to the article Dark skin and blue eyes: How Europeans once looked: It is widely accepted that Man's oldest common forefather was dark skinned, and that people became more pale as they ...
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37 views

What percentage of possible proteins has been tested by human brain evolution?

When the human human brain is discussed, I frequently hear an argument that goes like this "If there was a simple chemical solution for people to be smarter, nature would've already found it". I'm ...
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218 views

How did fish evolve the ability to breathe on land?

Doesn't make sense. It would be like a human evolving the ability to breathe on the moon without a spacesuit. How would the organism be able to carry out such an evolutionary adaptation, when the ...
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2answers
232 views

Why is the strength of genetic drift inversely proportional to the population size?

I saw a concept on the Internet that says "the strength of genetic drift is inversely proportional to the population size". I don't know why they are inversely proportional? Can somebody explain? ...
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71 views

Chromosome 2 alternate explanation - apes gaining a set of chromosomes?

I'm preparing for a debate (just between friends) on evolution (I'm in support), and one of the points I plan to bring up is the Chromosome 2 evidence. I'm now trying to predict their potential ...
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30 views

Is it possible for bacteria to acquire family-wide antibiotic resistance?

If there is bacteria, lets say Enterococci that is sensitive to: Amoxycillin-Clavulinic acid Ampicillin-Sulbactam Ofloxacin Ciprofloxacin Is it possible to ...
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1answer
388 views

Evolution- Variations, adaptations and selective advantages

I am trying to understand Variations, adaptations and selective advantages and how they are all related. Feel free to add or correct me if I'm wrong- Variations are structural, functional, or ...
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1answer
179 views

Opposite results between Blomberg's K and phylogenetic signal in Phylocom (AOT)

I've been trying to test for significant phylogenetic conservatism in some plant traits. So far I used R-package picante (Blomberg's K) and AOT in Phylocom. So far these two methods yield completely ...
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1answer
98 views

Can we say that microevolution and macroevolution is fundamentally the same thing over different time scales?

This Wikipedia article states: Macroevolution is evolution on a scale of separated gene pools. Macroevolutionary studies focus on change that occurs at or above the level of species, in contrast ...
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204 views

Why do farts stink, but perfume does not?

Why is it that natural things like farts, poop, halitosis etc., from which we are always surrounded smell "bad"; whereas manufactured products, such as perfume or glue smell "good" to most of us? In ...
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4answers
265 views

Are we inevitable in the evolution?

Suppose we wind time back to the instance when life emerged on Earth and let evolution start over again, will human beings or any other kind of self-conscious animals evolve ultimately, inevitably? ...
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439 views

Are humans an eusocial species?

In the evolution of sociality among animals, different degrees are acknowledged. Some species present overlapping generations, some division of labor, and the minority present reproductive division. ...
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245 views

The Origin of Mitochondria

For a long time I've just accepted, because it is just what everyone told me, that mitochondria became organelles in the cell when they were "engulfed" by another cell which acted like it's host. This ...
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138 views

The Assumption of Weak Selection?

I was reading this question and I failed to fully understand the introductory part of it. The OP (@Artem Kaznatcheev) says: Most analytic models like to assume weak selection because it allows ...
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124 views

Evolutionary history: did any organs start out as autonomous organisms?

I've read that the cell nucleus was once an autonomous organism that was "enslaved" by the larger cell at the time of the Eukaryotic Revolution. Are there any organs in the human body that we know of ...
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1answer
71 views

Definition of “Regime of selection”

How would you define Regime of selection (or Selection regime)? In addition to a accurate definition, a developped example ...
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1answer
93 views

Disproportion in cranial nerve innervation?

The cranial nerve innervation is highly disproportionate, as far as humans are concerned. I am not sure of the advantage of being innervated by cranial nerve versus being innervated by a normal ...
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2answers
210 views

How would constantly growing nails have aided early human?

Nails grow rapidly and constantly, such that without constant artificial trimming they would reach lengths difficult to manage. How did this benefit early humans, say 200kya? Were they used like ...
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3answers
616 views

Why did abiogenesis only happen once?

If the "primordial soup" theory of abiogenesis is to be believed, self-reproducing organisms spontaneously arose on Earth at least 3.5 billion years ago, surprisingly soon after the Earth cooled down ...
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2answers
144 views

Book recommendations for algorithms used in evolutionary biology

Do you have recommendations for a book that presents the different algorithm used in theoretical evolutionary biology? I don't mean evolutionary or genetic algorithms (otherwise this question would ...
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1answer
371 views

Ka/Ks (dN/dS) analysis module for Python?

From this wiki article: In genetics, the Ka/Ks ratio (or ω, dN/dS), is the ratio of the number of Nonsynonymous substitutions per non-synonymous site (Ka) to the number of synonymous ...
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3answers
149 views

How should I put a large phylogeny into a scientific paper?

I've been trying to put a phylogeny tree into a scientific paper. This tree includes ~220 species, which is too too large for one page for journal articles (Letter or A4 size). But in my paper it is ...
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2answers
2k views

Why is dimethyltryptamine (DMT) being released during death?

I'm not very well informed about all the things related to biology and the current achievements of science in this field so if I'm wrong in anything I say, please let me know. Many times I've come ...
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85 views

Current human behavior as a genetic heritage

People: I have doubts about genetic heritage, but let me explain the context which has shown up this doubt for you: I was debating about sexism and the following question were put on the discussion: ...
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106 views

How likely is it that Earth has millions of different species?

I know that the probability of life existing on a habitable planet is pretty slim. But, how likely is it that it hapenned millions of times in the same planet? Or was it only a few species that ...
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4answers
241 views

How come most animals never seem to evolve over millenia?

People often say, including those with extensive knowledge in biology, that a certain species of animal will evolve in one way or another: 1.From changing environments. 2.Mutations. 3.Possibly even ...
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1answer
111 views

What are the visual, behavioral similarities and differences between Yellow Fever Mosquito (Aedes aegypti) and the Tiger Mosquito (Aedes albopictus)?

The Tiger and Yellow Fever Mosquito visually look very similar. Recognizing the difference is important for tracking and controlling the spread of Yellow Fever, Dengue fever and other diseases. ...
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435 views

Are there genetic similarity between humans and pigs that don't exist in chimps?

Chimps are our closer relative. Any genetic similarity between humans and chimps must exist on the common ancestor. Pig branch out sooner. So, any genetic similarity between humans and pigs must be ...
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149 views

Is there any genetic similarity that defy evolution theory?

For example, say species A is common ancestor of B, and C. Species B is a common ancestor of D and E. We would expect that there will be more genetic similarity between D and E than D and C. And ...
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42 views

Is there any evidence telling us what the oxidation state of early earth's atmosphere was?

I ask this question in relation to the origin of life. I realise it would probably be better suited to a geology stack exchange, but it does not yet exist. The Miller-Urey experiment gives a lab ...
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2answers
161 views

Why and how does complexity usually tends to increase through time?

The question of complexity is classic in the very first lectures of evolutionary biology where the teacher usually tries to tell the students that complexity does not necessary increases and that ...
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85 views

Does avocado and orange have a common ancestor?

While I'm eating my orange, I felt as if I was eating avocado. It might be genetic manipulations perhaps but it made me think if they have a common evolutionary ancestor. Is there?
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1answer
100 views

Why isn't RH disease present in other mammals?

Basically, I have read about RH disease, Its rare but it can happen when an RH + baby is conceived by an RH - mother. This raises many questions. I have heard this problem only happens with humans, ...
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143 views

Haidinger's brush: Is this a by-product of the eye's physics, or are there any evolutionary grounds for it?

The human eye is, very subtly, sensitive to the polarization of light. This is an effect known as Haidinger's brush (see Wikipedia article of this name). What, if anything, is known or at least ...
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503 views

The number of nipples (breasts) a species has?

Only mammals have mammaries and mammary glands. What evolutionary factors determines the number of mammaries (nipples/teats/breasts) a species has? Is it always an even number?
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1answer
132 views

Cats, Dogs and Bears - how are they related?

What is the ancestral relationship between cats, dogs and bears? I presume they are more closely related to one another than other paraphyletic clades of mammal. Which came first? What did their ...
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1answer
67 views

Chemoautotrophy in large organisms?

The major nutritional mechanisms include chemoautotrophy, heterotrophy (including parasitism and saprotrophy) and photoautotrophy. All of these modes of nutrition developed first in prokaryotic ...
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1answer
96 views

Body size, what are the evolutionary trade-offs?

Background Considering just the "Kingdom Animalia" branch of organisms. It is clear that bigger does not necessarily mean better - there is large variation in body size... From the 94 µm long ...
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96 views

Does conjugation support gene selection?

I have already posted this on chat but haven't got any response. A recent question on group selection stimulated me to ask this here. QUESTIONS: Why should bacteria conjugate? If we consider that a ...
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117 views

Empirical evidence for Group Selection?

A controversial concept in Biology "Group Selection", has caused confusion and conflict amongst scientists since the since the mid 1990s. The more general realm of study is termed the "unit of ...
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157 views

Why, specifically, does each generation, on average, improve upon the design of the species rather than degrade it?

In every non-life example I can envision, a copy of a copy is always a degraded or less pure version of the original unless some outside influence acts to correct the copy back toward the ideal ...
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248 views

Biodiversity is restricted by genome combinatorics?

Me and some friends are interested in opinions for the following: Conjecture The maximum number of species must be limited by the maximum combinatorial/permutational space that can be occupied ...
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1answer
105 views

Natural enemies boost deep evolutionary fitness?

"Two species that reduce one another's fitness on microevolutionary (short-term) timescales can increase each other's macroevolutionary (long-term) fitness" Opinions? Intuitive Examples: ...
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119 views

What is the most recent non-primate ancestors of humans?

If we go down the evolutionary tree of humans, (Homo sapiens, Homo erectus, ...), what will be the first non-primate ancestors?
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1answer
50 views

Are there cannibalistic k-selectors?

My understanding of r- and k-selectors does not go deeper than the wikipedia article. I understand k-selectors to be creatures that put tendentially more effort and energy into rearing their ...
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1answer
56 views

Does the existence of one species imply the existence of many other?

Reading one of Sir Arthur Clarke's scifi stories, I came across a statement something to the effect of, existence of a single species automatically implies the existence of many other species. So ...
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1answer
883 views

Why would a single celled organism evolve to be multi-celled?

I read a story this week on Richard Lenski who has been 'evolving' E. coli for more than 50,000 generations now. One comment I read was from someone who doesn't accept Evolution who pointed out that ...
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1answer
121 views

What is the evolutionary advantage of regret?

Some motivational speakers may say that regrets are only useful to learn something from. What are the other advantages?
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158 views

DIfference between diversification and differentiation

In Adaptive dynamic : what is the difference between Ecological Differentiation and Ecological Divergence ?
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206 views

Why is there such an argument about evolution?

DISCLAIMER: I am a Christian, although I happen to believe that some form of guided evolution via natural selection is God's mechanism for creation. Now to my question, which is related to my ...